skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer

Talisman Sabre 2019 LogoCommunity Information

The ADF appreciates the strong support of the Australian public for our vital training activities. We understand large exercises can intrude into communities and look forward to working with you, listening to your ideas and views to inform our planning and minimise any impacts.

Our community engagement plan commenced back in January 2018 focussed on environmental planning and briefing local mayors, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, community meetings, indigenous representatives and AgForce.

Engagement will continue into the exercise and afterwards, including a dedicated Civil Military Cooperation team to respond to matters as they occur, and post-exercise meetings with communities to evaluate and inform future activities.

The TS19 webpage, Facebook and Twitter pages will ramp up from April/May 2019 as the final TS19 plan is confirmed, when you will see more specific information on the exercise and possible interactions with communities. We will also open a freecall 1800 number for the public to call with any comments, ideas or concerns. During the actual exercise this number will operate 24/7.

In the interim, please call us on the number below if you have questions on the exercise or planned activities in your area, or if an issue emerges once the exercise starts. You can also email us via the Contact Us page anytime.

We will address your query as early as we can, as best we can.

Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 General Public Enquiries

We have a free call 1800 number if you have any questions about TS19. It will operate from 25 June to 31 July 2019 and run 24/7. The number is: 1800 426 352

Please ensure you leave contact details to allow us to return your phone call.

TS19 Media inquiries: call Defence Media Operations on (02) 6127 1999 (24 hrs), Email: media@defence.gov.au

The TS19 Open Day, hosted by the Rockhampton Regional Council, will be held on 6 July 2019 at the Rockhampton Showground. It will include displays of Australian and US helicopters, a variety of military vehicles and specialist military personnel. Entry is by gold coin, with all donations going to Legacy Rockhampton who assist the families of deceased and incapacitated veterans.

The following information is provided for public awareness and will be updated throughout the exercise.

Road Movements/Convoys

Safety of the Australian public and Exercise participants is our highest priority.

Large convoys will be on the roads from June to August 2019 and includes Australian, US and New Zealand military vehicles travelling from across Australia and converging at Rockhampton and Shoalwater Bay area. Military vehicles will also operate in and around Evans Head, Bundaberg, Mackay, Bowen and Proserpine using main and country roads.

For the public, this means military vehicles will be on major highways, often travelling in convoys at reduced speeds due to military vehicle speed requirements. They will comply with all local road rules and will have sufficient spacing between vehicles to allow safe passing.

Flying and Other Military Activities

Every effort is made to minimise flight and noise inconvenience to residents and landowners.

For Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019, we are working with local airports and grazier groups to identify restricted flying areas (including grazier homesteads and mustering yards), and to establish local contacts who will give advance notice to the grazier community regarding proposed flights.

Update - Landowners and primary producers can now submit a Noise Sensitive Area request to have a Restricted Operating Zone of 1-2NM placed over areas such as stockyards and homesteads. The form and details on where to submit it are on the Notice to Airmen page.

Please note notifications are subject to change, due to weather and operational considerations.

Evans Head

Across July the town of Evans Head will become part of the large-scale United States (US) – Australian exercise, Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS19).

TS19 is a bilateral combined Australian and US training activity, designed to practise US and Australian military services and associated agencies in planning and conducting Combined and Joint Task Force operations, and to improve the combat readiness of their forces.

Occurring every two years, Talisman Sabre is a major exercise reflecting the closeness of this alliance and strength of the enduring military relationship which began on the Western Front in WWI. This will be the eighth iteration of the exercise.

The Exercise, which is being conducted from Evans Head in NSW to Bowen and Proserpine in Queensland, runs from 11 – 24 July.

For Evans Head, most of the activities will take place at the Memorial Aerodrome to the north of town plus some small scale events involving helicopters.

What To See

The aerodrome Museum and access to the carpark will be unaffected and will be open for visitors as normal.

Over the duration of the Exercise, around 140 British, Australian and US military members will be working at the aerodrome. They will also be enjoying local cafes and shops in Evans Head during down time – so stop and say hi - especially to our overseas visitors.

There won't be any military aircraft landing at the aerodrome during the Exercise. Access to the runway and taxi-way will be restricted from the carpark near the Air Museum.

While Exercise impact will be limited around the local community, there will be some movements by foot by ADF members as part of a low-level scenario.

NSW Police is providing security to the activities on the aerodrome and will have roving patrols in the area.

Military Traffic

Between 04 – 11 July, there will be movements of military vehicles entering the area to set up for TS19. There will be mainly civilian style vehicles such as cars and four-wheel drives over the exercise duration.

Caution on local roads is requested, especially around Camp Koinonia where personnel are staying. If you see a military convoy on the road, please slow down and maintain a safe distance from the vehicles.

Support to Local Businesses

With 140 personnel staying in the area, Camp Koinonia has been contracted to accommodate the troops.  Camp Manager, Craig Dale, said the greatest majority of food items will be sourced from local suppliers and farmers.

Defence members from participating countries will also be utilising cafes, coffee shops and the supermarket within Evans Head over July.

Queries

Any queries regarding the exercise or activities at Evans Head can be made through the contact number - 1800 426 352 – which will be staffed from 15 June 2019.

Bundaberg Region

Bundaberg airport will see activities for approximately a 4 day period – these will not affect commercial flights. These activities include military road traffic, and rotary and fixed wing aircraft. There will also be a military presence during the set-up and pull-down after the activities.

Small scale activities will occur in the surrounding countryside at the same time.

Consultation has commenced with the Bundaberg Regional Council, landowners and Queensland Police.

Rockhampton

Light towers, generators and high pressure water operations, truck and forklift movements will occur between 0700 and 2200 from June until early August at Rockhampton Defence depot on Western St near the airport. All efforts will be made to focus light inwards and control the volume of any activities.

Consultation with Rockhampton Regional Council and Queensland Police has commenced.

The planned flying dates and time frames for rotary and fixed wing aircraft are:

Late June - Late July:

  • Increased aircraft movements of military aircraft approaching/departing Rockhampton Airport, Shoalwater Bay Training Area and Stanage Bay area.
  • Very early morning, afternoon and evening movements will peak during mid July 2019.

Capricorn Coast

Including Shoalwater Bay, Stanage Bay and Byfield Communities

Major activities will occur inside the existing ADF Shoalwater Bay Training Area. North of that will see an amphibious landing similar to Exercise Talisman Sabre 2017 and infantry, mechanised and airmoble activities throughout the eastern half of Stanage Bay peninsula and township for approximately a 4 day period.

There will also be increased military presence during the set-up and pull-down after the activities.

Consultation is underway with Livingstone Shire Council, Stanage Bay township, AgForce, GBRMPA and Parks Australia, landowners, Queensland Police and Darumbal People.

The exercise will use Stanage Bay Road (off the Bruce Hwy). There will be significant vehicle traffic on the Bruce Hwy to/from the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (exiting at Raspberry Ck Road) from June until early August, concentrated around mid July. Traffic will be from both the north and south.

Passage through Byfield is unknown at this time, but is expected to be limited at most.

The planned flying dates and time frames for rotary and fixed wing aircraft are:

Late June - Late July:

  • Increased aircraft movements of military aircraft approaching/departing Shoalwater Bay Training Area and Stanage Bay area.
  • Very early morning, afternoon and evening movements will peak during mid July 2019.

Mackay Region

Mackay and and Sarina hinterland

Small scale activities will occur throughout Mackay and around Sarina over the entire exercise period. The Mackay airport will see increased military air traffic including rotary and fixed wing aircraft.

Consultation is happening with Mackay Regional Council, Midge Point township, GBRMPA, landowners and Queensland Police.

The Whitsunday Region

Including Bowen, Proserpine and their surrounding areas

Bowen will experience an amphibious landing at Kings Beach (similar to 2018) and subsequent infantry / mechanised activities in the town for a 3-4 day period. This will include major military road traffic, and rotary and fixed wing aircraft. There will also be increased military presence during the set-up and pull-down after the activities.

Separate small scale activities will occur throughout Bowen over the entire exercise period.

In Proserpine, there will be significant activities based at the airport over the entire exercise period – these will not affect commercial flights. There will also be small scale activities in town and the surrounding countryside.

Consultation is also underway with the Whitsunday Regional Council, GBRMPA and Parks Australia,landowners, Qld Government agencies and Queensland Police.

Gladstone Area

The Port of Gladstone will be used to move equipment to and from the exercise and will include large convoys on main roads.

The planned flying dates and time frames for rotary and fixed wing aircraft for areas surrounding Gladstone have not been determined at this point, however, they will be promulgated when they are known.

RAAF Base Townsville

RAAF Base Townsville will experience increased military air traffic under the exercise.

The planned flying dates and time frames for rotary and fixed wing aircraft for areas surrounding Townsville have not been determined at this point. However, notices of flying dates and time frames will made publicly available once finalised.

For more information on military aircraft flying activities go to our Flying Operations page or contact the RAAF Base Townsville Airbase Command Post on (07) 4572 1888 or 0418 405 948.

RAAF Base Amberley

RAAF Base Amberley will experience increased military air traffic under the exercise.

The planned flying dates and time frames for rotary and fixed wing aircraft for areas surrounding Amberley have not been determined at this point. However, notices of flying dates and time frames will made publicly available once finalised.

For more information on military aircraft flying activities go to our Flying Operations page or contact the RAAF Base Amberley Airbase Command Post on (07) 5361 2888.